NSFW warning – partial nudity towards the end….
When Reagan got home from Enid’s, she was prepared for backlash about her hair. But during dinner, all her Dad did was shake his head. “Reagan, why?” he asked.
“I just needed a change,” she mumbled.
“Well, actually, it isn’t awful, I guess,” he said with a tiny grin.
“No…I like it,” said Dannie, “It’s actually kinda cool, and brave. At least it’s not purple and black.”
Taylor chimed in. “Ohhh – it IS cool. I like it Reagan! It makes you look older.”
Since everyone was being agreeable about her hair, Reagan decided to test the waters. She smiled at her father. “Enid and I are going to the movies tomorrow night.”
That got Ryan’s attention and he glanced at her before digging back in to his food.
“Do you girls need a ride?” asked her dad.
“No. She’s gonna pick me up.”
“Any boys?” asked Cole.
“No,” she lied working hard to keep her smile in place. Actually Archer and Jerry were going with them.
Enid picked her up and brought her back to her house. A few minutes later the guys arrived. When she walked out onto the porch, Archer looked up at her. He looked incredibly handsome. He had let his beard grow a little, which made him look so much older. They stared at each other for a minute, taking each other in.
Finally Archer found his voice. “Wow,” he said as he continued to look at her. “You are looking hot PR. What happened to you? “
She relaxed and gave him a smile. “Enid. Like it?”
“Fuck yeah,” he said as he pulled her into a hug. Then he whispered in her ear, “Why don’t we skip the movie and go back to my house after we eat. Nobody’s home.”
Reagan’s heart was in her throat. “Okay,” was all she managed to get out as she looked into his grey blue eyes.
She could barely eat her meal. Her nerves were getting the best of her. She couldn’t stop thinking about what Archer had said to her.
The others were all laughing, and joking. Everyone was relaxed and enjoying the food and company. She smiled politely at the jokes, even the ones she didn’t get.
The next thing Reagan knew, the two of them were headed inside Archer’s house. His home was more like what she had expected Enid’s to be. Small and in a poorer part of Willow Creek. It was old and dated. But she didn’t care. All she cared about was being with Archer.
He guided her into his room and closed the door. “Just in case we get an unexpected visitor,” he explained, “although, Mom usually doesn’t come back home until late on Sunday. She spends the weekends at her boyfriend’s house.”
Archer threw some clothes off the bed and into a nearby hamper. “Sorry, wasn’t planning on company,” he said apologetically. Then he sat down and pulled her into his lap. Reagan had yet to say a word. She was terrified because she was pretty sure she knew what was going to happen. But this was what she wanted, wasn’t it?
When Archer began to kiss her, all doubts vanished and she quickly lost herself in him – his smell, the feel of his body against hers, his taste, and most of all, the feeling of being wanted.
Archer stopped kissing her and moved her out of his lap. Then he pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on the floor. Reagan’s heart began to hammer in her chest and she began to breathe too fast. He laughed that low sexy laugh that sent chills through her and put his arm around her. He nibbled on her ear and more chills cascaded down her spine. He whispered, “Your turn to take something off. I’ll help.” His voice was husky and sexy, just like his laugh.
Reagan swallowed hard and followed suit, as he helped relieve her of her sweater and bra. They were going to get naked. This is it, she thought, we’re going to do it. She was terrified as he pushed her back on the bed.
Reagan turned away from Archer after he was done. She was trying hard not to cry or cover herself. She suddenly felt very exposed, even with him next to her. He leaned over and put his hand on her arm. “Reagan, baby, are you okay?” he asked softly.
She shook her head. She knew he had been with lots of girls before. Maybe it was that, or maybe because it did hurt. As soon as it began to be painful, she had tensed up and couldn’t relax like Enid had told her to do. She was just too nervous. “I’m sorry,” she whispered and a few tears escaped.
“No Reagan,” replied Archer, his voice filled with regret. She let him pull her around to face him. When he saw her tears, he gently wiped them away. “I’m sorry. I just thought – next time baby – next time, it will be different. Much better for you. The pain really is only the first time.”
It suddenly hit her that that he said ‘next time’. He wanted to do it again – with her? Even after she was so awful. It made her feel worse. How was he not upset? “I’m not sure…” She was going to say she wasn’t sure she wanted a next time. But stopped herself. He wouldn’t want to be with her anymore if she said no after saying yes. She was confused and began to cry softly again.
“Shhhh. Don’t cry Reagan. It’s my fault. You made me crazy and I went too fast. I’ll wait on you next time and go slower. I promise. God … I just keep forgetting how young you really are.”
When he said that, the dam burst and she began to sob uncontrollably. He pulled her tight and rubbed her back while she wept for everything she had lost in the past year, her father, her best friend, her sense of belonging and now her innocence. She couldn’t lose him too just because she was too young.
Finally, when her sobbing subsided, he whispered in her ear. “Reagan, I don’t know if this makes any difference to you, but I think, maybe, I love you. I’m so sorry.”
“What?” she asked as she tried to sit up, just to have Archer pull her back against him. Those words scared her more than anything else that happened. Why was he sorry? “What does that mean?”
“You aren’t ready for this. I’m falling in love with you. I should have walked away before it happened and I didn’t.”
“NO! You can’t leave me!” she cried, forgetting about her lack of clothing, more panicked about not having him in her life. She couldn’t breathe thinking he might leave her. She made a promise to herself right then. “I’ll do better,” she cried.
“Reagan….I won’t leave you. Don’t worry. I don’t know if I could. And I’m glad you don’t want me to.” He kissed her tenderly. It was so different from any other of his kisses, which were always passionate and playful. He sat back and looked at her. His eyes were sad and it worried her. He brushed her hair back from her face. “My sweet Reagan, I never meant to hurt you.”
“It doesn’t hurt anymore,” she said, needing his sadness to go away.
He smiled, but not with his eyes. “That’s not what I meant, but I’m sorry about that too,” he said softly.
She felt herself blush. “Oh,” she said. She still didn’t understand what he meant and it confused her but she was too embarrassed to ask him. She didn’t want him thinking she was too young anymore.
“You probably should go. Can’t have you getting in trouble,” he said and chuckled at their little joke.
“I don’t want to go… I want to stay here with you,” she said. She was ready maybe to even try again, if it would make him not send her away.
“I would love for you to stay with me, but we both know you can’t,” he said as reached for their clothes.
Reagan turned around to get dressed so he wouldn’t see the fresh tears forming in her eyes at the thought of leaving him. She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and it startled her. She wasn’t sure she recognized the person staring back at her anymore. She not only looked different, but now, she also felt different.